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Not Just For Athletes: Concussions and Permanent Damaging Brain Trauma Can Happen To Anyone

In recent years concussions have been a hot topic of debate.  This is fairly surprising.  After all, it wasn’t that long ago that concussions were a thing to joke and make funny commercials about.  We’ve probably all heard a coach dismiss an injured player with an “aaap, he got his bell rung.”  But now, thankfully, it is something people take seriously. The change has come rapidly- we’ve heard about the death by suicide of several major NFL stars, and that has focused people’s attention on the issue.

With the NFL taking the heat on the controversy over who is responsible and what’s safe for professional football players to endure, it’s easy to assume that most or all concussions happen through sports.  But that is more of a product of what the media focuses on.  The truth is, a majority of concussions come outside the lines and off the court.  As experts in the horrors of brain trauma, we want you to learn about recognition and prevention of these surprisingly-damaging events.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can be caused by a fall,  a blow to the head, or another injury that shakes the brain inside the skull like the all-too-common motion of whiplash. There may be cuts or bruises on the outside of the head, but often times there are no visible signs.

How do you prevent concussions off the field?

There are a number of ways to prevent concussions off the field. Because many concussions occur as a result of car accidents, as always, it’s important to buckle up EVERY time you’re in the car and to not drink and drive. If you have children make sure they are in a well-secured, appropriately sized car seat. Certified technicians are available in your area, usually for free,  if you need assistance in properly installing a car seat. Although it may not be fashionable, wear helmets while riding bicycles and make sure they’re buckled. If you have young children make sure you have locking child-proof gates at the top of stairways to prevent falls.

Preventing concussions in the elderly

Seniors over the age of 65 have the highest risk for concussions.  To reduce the number of falls resulting in concussions and other injuries, remove any tripping hazards to living areas of seniors. Improve lighting  and be sure stairways have appropriate railings. Install anti-slip mats in baths and showers. Encourage an exercise program to increase strength, coordination and balance.

How do you know if you have a concussion?

Symptoms from concussions can arise immediately after the incident or sometimes days, weeks or even months after the initial injury. Medical technology is emerging that may allow us monitor and manage concussions through an iphone app but for now it’s best to consult a physician if you think you might be suffering from side effects of a concussion.   Below is a list of symptoms from the CDC:

Concussions can cause more than just a headache and a slight irritability. They have been shown to destroy lives and families and should be taken very seriously. If you experience a concussion resulting in more severe symptoms, it can be difficult to manage day-to-day functions. In addition,  many insurance companies are trying to fight concussion fraud, which can result in innocent victims of concussions not getting the benefits they deserve. If you or a loved one have a concussion or brain injury, or if a loved one has passed away due to someone else’s negligence please contact a personal injury attorney to protect your rights and explore your options.

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